Ruling against DeLay PAC

How the Texas legislature became the fine deliberative body it is today. From the Associated Press (via truthout):

The treasurer of a political committee formed by US House Majority Leader Tom DeLay violated Texas election code by not reporting hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions, a judge ruled Thursday in a civil case brought by Democratic candidates.

State District Judge Joe Hart, in a letter outlining his ruling to attorneys in the case, said the money, much of it corporate contributions, should have been reported to the Texas Ethics Commission.

The ruling means Bill Ceverha, treasurer of the group, called the Texans for a Republican Majority political action committee, will have to pay nearly $200,000. It will be divided among those who brought the suit against Ceverha, five Democratic candidates who lost legislative races in 2002.

The Democrats who sued TRMPAC claimed Ceverha violated the state election law, designed to keep elections free from "the taint of corporate cash."

The Democrats alleged that some $600,000 in corporate money was illegally used to influence Texas House races in 2002, the year Republicans won control of the House for the first time in 130 years.